Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Not just a pretty tune - or witty little ditty

It was good to see Conference in full swing yesterday doing what it does best - trying to make sense out of what it values and why, and how on earth it can hold on to it..
Hymns matter to Methodists.. but some are no longer quite sure why. One of my favourate quotes from the Conference floor sums it up.. when one speaker said Methodists are creative with their hymnody - we know how to do things with them - the reply was whispered - yes, we make sandwiches with them - a play on the old hymn prayer sandwich service.

Actually Methodist Hymns are the Methodist equivalent to Anglican Stained glass windows - they tell the Gospel Story in a way that those who are not religious or scripturally literate can begin to understand and appreciate it. Even if the person doesn't quite 'get' it, they can still appreciate the tune!

This means that hymns carry a great weight in our tradition -they are part of our Kerygma something which helps to proclaim and make us aware of, Christ's presence with us. They communicate our theology, our conversations with God and with each other. They are required to inspire and instruct us - and to do for the heart and soul what a witty little ditty will do for the brain - get stuck - and endlessly repeat until what it says becomes an intrinsic part of our life with God.

So sing it people - when it is approved - and let's save the souls of a new generation.

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